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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  January 16, 2018 2:30am-3:00am GMT

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has said she was sexually abused by the former usa team doctor, larry nassar. he was jailed last month forfor possessing child pornography and is awaiting sentencing after admitting assaulting other female gymnasts under the guise of treatment. the un high commissioner for refugees has told the bbc that he can't support the return of rohingya muslims who fled violence in myanmar unless his organisation can monitor the situation. more than half a million rohingya are now living in bangladesh in what's become the world's biggest refugee camp. the singer of the irish rock band the cranberries, dolores o'riordan, has died at the age of 46. she was in london for a recording session and police say they are treating her death as unexplained. ireland's president said her passing was a big loss to all those who followed irish music. it to perform and they in
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parliament. —— it is time now for one day in parliament. —— monday. hello and welcome to monday in parliament, our look at the best of the day in the commons and the lords. on this programme: questions follow the liquidation of construction firm carillion. can the house be told what the government knew about carillion‘s financial health when the awarding of a £11; billion contract for hs2 quite recently. so where does the crisis at carillion leave the use of private companies to run public services? i think the private sector has successfully has delivered many projects for government. and, how to get the military to recruit from ethnic minorities? not everyone‘s convinced the army's going about things the right way. this new advertising campaign, rather less than robust,
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will be able to successfully do that with the good old—fashioned be the best. but first, the cabinet office minister david lidington says the government will keep services going following the collapse of carillion. early on monday morning came the announcement that the midlands—based construction company, that also provides services for schools, prisons and hospitals across britain, had gone into liquidation, so threatening thousands ofjobs. carillion had been losing money on its large public sector contracts — its debts are totalling around £1.5 billion. in a statement in the commons, david lidington said the government would step in to pay employees and small businesses working on the company's public contracts. he said carillion‘s shareholders and lenders would bare the "brunt of the losses". it is regrettable carillion has not been able to find suitable financing options with its lenders and i am
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disappointed the company has become insolvent as a result. taxpayers should not and will not bail out a private sector company for private sector bosses or a low rewards for failure. i understand that members of the public and particularly employees of companies in the carillion group will have concerns at this time and the government is doing everything possible to minimise any impact on employees. let me declare that all employees should continue to turn up to work confident in the knowledge they will be paid for the public services that they are providing. carillion delivered a range of public services across health, education, justice, defence and transport and in most cases the contracts had been running successfully. since its first profit warning we have been monitoring and since then had planned extensively and had robust contingency plans in place. this was to protect the public service delivery. i have been asking questions
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for three months about carillion. why was it apparent to everyone except the government that carillion was in trouble? the transport secretary in particular has questions to answer. can the house be told about what what the government knew when they awarded a {1.4 billion contract recently for hsz? this is a failure of a whole ideological system of contracting out public services. reckless with taxpayers' money, helpless on public services, isn't it time the government made way for an administration which cares and will
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exercise due diligence? if we look at those carillion contracts which are still, until this morning, still active, roughly one third, yes, were awarded by the conservative government. roughly one third were awarded by the coalition government, when the honourable member was... and the other third by labour governments in which as the right honourable gentleman knows he was actually working in the office of the then prime minister, so i would suggest that the right honourable gentleman when he returns to their subject treat it with the seriousness that it deserves. when carillion collapsed at the weekend they had debts of £900 million and a pension deficit of £600 million.
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and yet year after year after year, carillion paid dividends out to their shareholders. after the chief executive chris jettisoned after the profits warning lastjuly he is still being paid a salary in excess... until this coming october. will the government confirmed that the payments will stop as of today? can my right honourable friend confirm he will not fall into the labour trap of how to do with corporate failure, and the last labour government who lets bank investors pocket profits for many years but when the ship hit the rocks the taxpayer picked up the bills. those same bond investors were let of scot—free. 20,000 people across the uk including employees at sheet hit the rocks headquarters at risk of using theirjobs,
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it seems senior management have changed the rules so that they can keep hold of their exorbitant bonuses. does he think this is fair and if not what of the government going to do about it? i can certainly well understand and appreciate that sense of unfairness on the part of the honourable lady's constituents. i think it would be wrong of me from the dispatch box to pre—empt the enquiry that the official receiver will carry out into the conduct of both present and previous members of the board of directors. but i can say to the honourable lady that the official receivers not only has power to investigate but to impose severe penalties as he finds the conduct has taken place. when the carillion issue was debated in the lords, one labour peer said his chief
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concern centred on smaller companies caught up in supply chains to the company. these companies employ fewer than ten people. given the payment structure which carillion adopts, there are now many companies in the supply chain who have completed the work but are still waiting to be paid. there is a 120 day period between the completion of work and the payment for the work done. and these people, from what has been said today, seem to have been forgotten about. they have done their duty under the contracts to carillion and they have now been left hanging without any prospect of payment and any prospect of getting any kind of money. it is a serious issue that there may be circumstances where carillion has been paid but the money has not filtered down the supply chain. i have made enquiries about this. the priority of the official receiver is to maintain continuity of service.
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i gather that there is provision within the resources available to the official receiver in the circumstances that the noble lord hasjust mentioned for those payments that have not filtered through to be made in order to ensure the continuity of services provided. there is of course anger by many of those working for and with the company that is the warning signs were not followed up very quickly by the government after their alert injuly. not least the fact that a crown representative was not appointed when good practice and the ministerial guidelines set it should not happen. may i say it is time for a further independent enquiry into the private finance initiative process? this idea i think originally...
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it came to me when i was transferred some 30 odd years ago. my treasury officials working on it. i refused to have anything to do with it. will the minister chavvy has whether he plans to chair the investigation? to investigate the cause of failure in any company but that will not cover the action of ministers and ministers have their fingerprints all over this debacle. as someone who has worked in the contraction industry, it was fairly common knowledge 12 months ago that carillion was in considerable difficulty. i ask the question whether my noble friend will look at who is it within her majesty'sgovernment that is there to keep a watch on these major, major contracts across departments. it seems to me that is a question that does not need to be asked. underlining a point which i certainly take to heart
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we should see whether the method of assessing the financial viability we have to undertake when we award a tender, needs ot be reviewed in light of carillion. so has the carillion case demonstrated possible risks when private sector companies are awarded contracts to run public services? at a committee session, a senior civil servant has been defending the government's use of private firms. four years ago john manzoni became chief executive of the major projects authority in the cabinet office. a conservative mp took up with him the case of high speed 2. after the contracts were signed, there were question marks over a large number of the companies signed up to hs2. i asked on that occasion whether due diligence had been carried out on all the companies and in reality transferring unacceptable
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risk to the taxpayer? the private sector has successfully delivered many projects for government. through pfi, £60 billion pounds of infrastructure. by the same companies, good ones and bad ones, but the structure of what we do in that particular case, the joint venture of three companies. in particular for this reason, the risks are shared, and in this case one company has said, we will cover this. that is why we structure it that way. this is of course a much bigger debate and of course there are various better companies and worse companies, but i think in general the use of private infrastructure, this country is actually very good at building infrastructure
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through the private sector and various financing constructs, delivery authorities. there are successful. the point he makes is right, one of the things we have learned over the years, i have certainly learned space following the gas saga. over the last three format years we prioritised building the quality of our commercial profession. making sure everyone in it is of the right standard through an assessment centre. and just having much more of a grip, better information about contracts. and also people are likely moving over this, the fact is the team have done weeks and weeks of contingency planning against the worst—case scenario, which is what has happened today. no doubt a bad outcome for the country but the work we have done in the commercial trying to understand across a50 public sector contracts, understanding what would happen. ten years ago, we wouldn't have known where to start. a total understanding of why the contracts are, the ability to actually really interrogate, learn from each other.
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ten years ago, five years ago, which are not impossible. i think you have seen a change in the maturity of that commercialfunction, and stays this remind us why it is so important. still to come: are cycleways causing too many problems for lorries and bands? now, is it well—targeted advertising? or could it be barking
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up the wrong tree? the latest army recruitment campaign was unveiled last week. it's costing £1.5 million and it's aimed at addressing concerns that potential soldiers might have over signing up to the army. in the recruitment tv advert people ask "can i be gay in the army? "what if i get emotional?". in the commons, mps have given the new approach a mixed reception. a labour mp started the exchanges. having a more diverse armed forces clearly add to that effect on this, but unfortunately, the latest figures show that the number of regular personnel has only risen 0.5% since 2015, so what specific initiatives does the ministry of defence have to improve on this? well, the honourable lady will be aware of the latest advertising campaign that is going through. she is right, that if we are to reflect society, then we must be able to recruit from right and crossed society, that includes b ame, and also women as well. we have got this target. we hope we will achieve them. speaker, i strongly support the minister's ambition to encourage
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more bme people tojoin the armed forces, but what has led to this new campaign which is rather less robust in my own view then the good old—fashioned, be the best. he will be aware that the be the best campaign continues, but we must. we must recruit from a diverse footprint. of course the armed forces should be welcoming to everybody irrespective of their gender, race or sexuality, but is it not best to state this in general terms, because we are all part of a minority, i am part of many minorities in my views, and the armed forces should be representative, and represent the whole nation. they should do, and that is why,
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in the time frame of this government, we have seen the numberof women, for example, in one star postings and above, increase from ten to 20, and it is one that we have opened up every single role in the armed forces as well. tobias ellwood. meanwhile, mps have urged the defence secretary, gavin williamson, to do more to protect the armed forces from further cutbacks. included as part of the government's wide—ranging national security capabilities review, or nscr, is a study of current defence spending. answering an urgent question, the defence secretary insisted "hard work" was taking place to ensure the "right resources" were in place to combat the threats facing the uk. i can assure the house that as long as i am defence secretary, we will develop and sustain the capabilities necessary to maintain continuous at the nuclear deterrence, a carrier force able to strike
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anywhere on the globe, and the armed forces necessary to protect the knot at frantic, protect europe, and makes that we continue to work with our nato allies. the prime minister, chancellor and myself will be doing all we can to insure that we have a sustainable budget go forward, so that they can deliver the right capabilities for our armed forces. its new threats have intensified, isn't more money needed, and less of course, previous conventional threats of seriously diminished. yet, if previous conventional threats have diminished, why did the national security adviser claim to the defence committee in a letter, and i quote, because the main decisions during the 2015 dsr, this review is not defence focused. is it the case that the defence element of the review is to be hived off, and if so, when can we expect the defence part of the review
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to be published? we live in a time of deep global uncertainty, and the risks that we face continue to grow and evolve. can you confirm that the review will carry out a thorough, strategic analysis of those risks, and make a full assessment of the capabilities required to deal effectively with those risks. we all recognise on this side of the house the importance of making sure that we maintain conventional forces. side of the house, we recognise the fact that we have got to have been continuous at the nuclear deterrent, but you cannot have one and not the other, you have got to make sure that you have the ability, if we are in a point of conflict, that there are deterrence at many levels. that is why having a robust armed forces, in terms of our army and navy and air force
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is so incredibly vital. gavin williamson. "disastrous traffic management" in london is leading to increasing pollution and mental stress for those living and working in the capital. that's the view of a conservative member of the house of lords, who asked at question—time what the government was doing to try to reduce levels of pollution from vehicle emissions in london. why is pollution still so bad? according to king's college london and thousand 400 people died the year and thousands more suffer lung diseases caused by traffic congestion. average speed has slowed down from 12 mph to seven miles per hour. hardly progress. would the minister agree that disastrous traffic management is causing not only pollution but also mental stress and loss to for and of business? perhaps despite the worthiness, there is need for better qualified planners on tfl and local councils. my lords, air pollution poses
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the biggest environmental threat to public health and it is a particular threat to the elderly, the young and those with existing health issues. my noble friend makes a very sensible proposal to have a black cab driver, expert in roads and routes on the tlf board. i will certainly pass that suggestion on to the new minister for london. i know he is looking forward to working closely with the mayor on many issues including how to tackle air quality. will my noble friend herself meets with some black cab drivers? and if she does will she listen very carefully to what they say has been the result of reducing the mains on our major roads in london, caused very largely by the creation of cycle lanes? the construction of bike lanes and bus lanes and indeed the pedestrianisation of many roads
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have reduced the available space. of course, cycle lanes are welcome to protect cyclists and encourage cycling but i do understand that they have caused increased congestion, but we do want to encourage people to cycle. the reduction of things that traffic and travel and means there are more cars taking longerjourneys than ever before at slower speed and the evidence is of course that the internal combustion engine is less efficient and pollute more at slow speed particularly when it is waiting. can we have some government figures for the evidence of pollution being greater than for the bike lanes and afterwards, because this is an important issue in future planning of our cities in this country? i am afraid i do not have those figures to hand. i will write to the noble lord. the government is being sued for the third time over the failure
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of its plans on air quality to tackle the issue in the fastest possible time. the current plan requires no action in 45 of the local authorities which have illegal identified levels of air pollution. does the minister except that every local authority with an pollution problems needs to be required to take urgent action to reduce the pollution caused by traffic? i do agree that every local authority must do what they can to reduce pollution caused by traffic, and the noble lady is right, whilst we meet the vast majority of targets, we are one of 17 eu member states that are not meeting the nitrogen dioxide limits. the reason for that is the lower than expected reduction
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in the diesel vehicles. we have got plans which we published last year, and we have issued directives to 28 local authorities outside of london. they have already been drawing on the £250 million fund which were made available in order to try and bring improvements with was possible. lady sugg. now time for the final frontier. is parliament boldly going where no—one has gone before? mps have been debating the government's space industry bill — legislation which is part of the process to introduce commercial spaceflight activities from launch sites in britain. the industry ministerjojohnson told mps there was nothing like space to galvanise interest in science and technology. satellites, a speciality of the british space industry, play a crucial role in our economy, supporting more than £250 billion of ourgdp. in the future, tens of thousands of new smaller satellites are planned, creating a global launch opportunity worth £10 billion
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over the next ten years. this is an opportunity the uk is well placed to pursue. our long coastline, aviation heritage and engineering capability, thriving space sector and business friendly environment make the uk attractive for new commercial launch services. while we have already an licence space activities that are carried out by uk companies from other countries, we could carry out space activities from our own shores. if it is correct my understanding that this bill will open the way for commercial space flights within the next 20 years, and if that is correct, does the minister realise that commercial space flights will arrive in many years quicker than the proposals in transport for the north's improvements for transport including the rail electrification to hull? we want to move forward on many fronts and this bill will enable us to capture some of the major opportunities that are out there for british businesses in the space sector. this is about the commercial
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potential of things like space tourism, microgravity research. and eventually hyperbolic fight over a distance. obviously reaction engines and air breathing rocket engines have been mentioned, their aspiration is the space plane. that could see us flying to japan or australia in literally a few hours. simply by using going up to touch the edge of space and back down. a look at space travel. and that's it for this programme. alicia mccarthy will be here for the rest of the week. but for now, from me, keith macdougall, goodbye. hello there.
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i think some people might welcome the change to the weather this week from what we had last week — grey, damp, drizzly conditions. this week, it is looking colder. certainly we're getting our air sourced from the arctic, from greenland. it's going to bring strong winds, sunshine, and showers. some of these showers will continue to be frequent, as they will be through the course of the night, and early on into tuesday. with snow falling over the higher ground the north, even some wintriness down to lower levels. to the south, largely of rain. on tuesday itself, looking colder than it has been. windy, as well, and there will be a mixture of sunshine and showers. some of these will be heavy and frequent, most of them in the north and the west of the uk. watch out for ice first thing, as well, across parts of scotland, northern ireland, and into north—west england. there will be accumulating snow on the hills. some wintriness down to lower levels. add on the wind, it's going to be quite a wild morning. there could be some ice, as well, across parts of northern and western wales.
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but i think, to the south of here, these showers should be mainly of rain, just maybe a little bit of wintriness over the very highest hills. but, for east anglia into the east midlands and the south—east, a largely dry start. but chilly wherever you are, if you factor in that wind. and then, throughout the day, it's going to be a blustery one. west or north—west winds will be touching gale—force in exposure, blowing in plenty of showers, as you can see here, most of them in the north and west. snow, maybe even blizzard conditions, with accumulating snow over the higher ground in the north. if you factor in the wind, it's going to feel more like sub—zero in that wind across central and northern areas, but at least some places will have the sunshine to compensate. on wednesday, fewer showers. they will be most frequent across the north and north—west corner of the country. again, accumulating snow over the hills, wintry down to lower levels, and some good, lengthy spells of sunshine for parts of england and wales. temperatures of 3—7 degrees. now, things get quite interesting as we head into the middle of the week.
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we look out to the atlantic to the next area of low pressure. it looks like it's going to be a deepening area of low pressure, and could bring a significant spell of gales, maybe even severe gales, to england and wales. and to its northern flank, in the cold air, we could see some significant snow through central southern scotland. so either where you get the gales or the snow in the north, it is likely there could be some disruption possible to this system, so keep tuned to bbc local radio. but the good news is it will hurtle through quite quickly. in fact, for thursday morning, those winds will have died down, the snow will have eased away. not a bad day for many central, southern, and eastern areas. plenty of sunshine, further blustery showers across the north and west. and things look like they've calmed down slightly as we head on towards the end of the week and into the weekend, but remaining on the cold side. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. our top stories: simone biles, 4—time olympic champion gymnast, says she too was sexually abused by the former us team doctor. we meet the rohingya—children # wrapped around your finger... dolores o'riordan, lead singer of the cranberries, has died suddenly. we take a look back at her life. and this car went flying — literally — into the upstairs of a dental office, and somehow, everyone lived to tell the tale.


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